DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2023-1712; Project Identifier MCAI-2023-00821-A;
Amendment 39-22523; AD 2023-16-04]
Airworthiness Directives; Piaggio Aviation S.p.A. Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Piaggio Aviation S.p.A. (Piaggio) Model P-180 airplanes. This
AD was prompted by a report of corrosion-induced cracking on the
horizontal tail trim actuator (HTTA) fitting assembly. This AD requires
repetitively inspecting the HTTA fitting assembly for corrosion and
cracking until the HTTA fitting assembly is replaced with a new part.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: This AD is effective August 30, 2023.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 30,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by September 29, 2023.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions for submitting comments.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-1712; or in person at Docket Operations between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD
docket contains this final rule, the mandatory continuing airworthiness
information (MCAI), any comments received, and other information. The
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A., P180 Customer Support, via
Pionieri e Aviatori d'Italia, snc-16154 Genoa, Italy; phone: +39 331
679 74 93; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may view this service information at the FAA,
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust,
Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability of this
material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110. It is also available at
regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2023-1712.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Kiesov, Aviation Safety Engineer,
FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (816)
329-4144; email: email@example.com.
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2023-1712; Project Identifier MCAI-
2023-00821-A'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend
this final rule because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The
agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this final rule.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this AD contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this AD, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Mike
Kiesov, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410,
Westbury, NY 11590. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued
EASA AD 2023-0122R1, dated July 5, 2023
(referred to after this as the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition on
certain serial-numbered Piaggio Model P.180 airplanes. The MCAI states
an occurrence was reported where, during scheduled maintenance, stress
corrosion-induced cracking was found on the HTTA fitting assembly. The
MCAI states that this type of corrosion can be found on older
airplanes, based and operated for an extended period of time near the
seaside, exposed to a salty environment, or parked outside in an
environment of high humidity or frequent heavy precipitation.
To address the unsafe condition, the MCAI requires doing a high
frequency eddy current inspection (HFEC) of the HTTA fitting assembly
for corrosion and cracking and, depending on the findings, repeating
the inspection and repairing any light corrosion, or replacing the HTTA
fitting assembly with a new part. The MCAI states that replacing the
HTTA fitting assembly terminates the repetitive inspections.
This condition, if not addressed, could result in structural
failure of the HTTA fitting assembly and loss of control of the
airplane. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at regulations.gov
under Docket No. FAA-2023-1712.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Piaggio Aerospace Service Bulletin 80-0492,
Revision 3, dated June 12, 2023. This service information specifies
procedures for doing an HFEC inspection of the HTTA fitting assembly
for corrosion and taking corrective actions. The corrective actions
include repeating the HFEC inspection, repairing light corrosion, and
replacing the HTTA fitting assembly with a new part.
The FAA also reviewed Piaggio Aerospace Temporary Revision TR-031
to Chapter 51-70-70, dated May 29, 2023, to the Piaggio P.180
Structural Repair Manual. This service information specifies procedures
for replacing the HTTA fitting assembly.
This service information is reasonably available because the
interested parties have access to it through their normal course of
business or by the means identified in ADDRESSES section.
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country and are approved for operation in the United States.
Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with this State of Design
Authority, it has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in
the MCAI and service information referenced above. The FAA is issuing
this AD after determining that the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service
information already described, except as discussed under ``Differences
Between this AD and the MCAI.''
Differences Between This AD and the MCAI
The MCAI allows airplanes with corrosion or cracking in certain
areas of the HTTA fitting assembly to continue flights and be repaired
within 150 hours time-in-service or 7 months, whichever occurs first.
This AD requires that airplanes with corrosion exceeding light
corrosion or with cracking on any part of the HTTA fitting assembly be
repaired before further flight.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies forgoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because corrosion on the HTTA fitting assembly could lead to cracking
that, if not addressed, could result in structural failure of the HTTA
fitting assembly and loss of control of the airplane. For certain
airplanes, the initial HFEC inspection must be accomplished within 30
hours time-in-service or 60 calendar days after the effective date of
this AD, whichever occurs first. This compliance time is shorter than
the time necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the
final rule. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public
comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant
to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days,
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forgo notice and
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 103 airplanes of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
|Initially inspect HTTA fitting
||55 work-hours x $85 per hour
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary
corrective action that would be required based on the results of any
inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of aircraft
that might need these actions:
|Repetitively inspect HTTA fitting
||55 work-hours x $85 per hour
|$4,675 per inspection cycle
||1 work-hour x $85 per 0 hour
|Repair light corrosion
||1 work-hour x $85 per 0 hour
|$85 per inspection cycle
|Replace HTTA fitting assembly
||13 work-hours x $85 per hour
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB
Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public
reporting for this collection of information is estimated to take
approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the
collection of information. All responses to this collection of
information are mandatory. Send comments regarding this burden estimate
or any other aspect of this collection of information, including
suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Information Collection
Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood
Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.
Authority for This Rulemaking
Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.
Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight
of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for
practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary
for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that
authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to
exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.
This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order
13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States,
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various
levels of government.
For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness